Was primarily based upon certain experiments on combustion and calcination, and in effect reduced the number of the alchemical principles, while setting up a new one, a principle of combustibility, named phlogiston (from (PXoyun-6s, burnt).
The objections of the antiphlogistonists, such as the fact that calces weigh more than the original metals instead of less as the theory suggests, were answered by postulating that phlogiston was a principle of levity, or even completely ignored as an accident, the change of qualities being regarded as the only matter of importance.
Brandt showed that white arsenic was the calx of this element, and after the downfall of the phlogiston theory the views concerning the composition of white arsenic were identical with those which are now held, namely that it is an oxide of the element.
Chemists have turned phlogiston into a vague principle, ...
This theory regarded combustibility as due to a principle named phlogiston (from the Gr.
His chief books on chemistry were six volumes of Experiments and Observations on different Kinds of Air, published between 1774 and 1786; Experiments on the Generation of Air from Water (1793) Experiments and Observations relating to the Analysis of Atmospheric Air, and Considerations on the Doctrine of Phlogiston established and that of the Composition of Water refuted (1800).
The violence or completeness of combustion was proportional to the amount of phlogiston present.
The former substituted for the salt, sulphur and mercury of Basil Valentine and Paracelsus three earths - the mercurial, the vitreous and the combustible - and he explained combustion as depending on the escape of this last combustible element; while Stahl's conception of phlogiston - not fire itself, but the principle of fire - by virtue of which combustible bodies burned, was a near relative of the mercury of the philosophers, the soul or essence of ordinary mercury.